Monday, November 16, 2009

I Heart Peyton Manning

Who am I? I'm Sean Stangland. And some days I have a man-crush on Peyton Manning.

Sunday was one of those days, for reasons obvious to any NFL fan. Sure, we could say that Patriots coach Bill Belichick was the true MVP of that game for deciding to go for it on 4th and 2 with a 6-point lead, but Peyton still had to drive the ball into the endzone -- which he did, with more than a little help from Reggie Wayne. If Peyton is Football Jesus, Reggie is Assistant Football Jesus. (Or is that Assistant to the Football Jesus?

But even before Indianapolis cemented a 35-34 victory over New England, Peyton was all over our TV, pitching Sony products with a cartoon-eyed Justin Timberlake and the virtual cast of "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs." He's always entertaining in commercials, which is probably why he does so damn many of them. That Oreo campaign with him and brother Eli was hilarious.

Then of course there was his excellent stint on "SNL" a few years ago:

Peyton outclassed every sports hero that ever hosted "SNL," from Joe Montana to Derek Jeter to Michael Phelps. I'd even say he was a better host than "SNL" favorite Dwayne "The Rock" Johnston, who may not exactly qualify as a sports figure.

Peyton Manning strikes me as one of those people who would excel at anything. Would you be surprised if he had a good singing voice, too? (Well ... yeah.) I am interested to see what he'll do when his playing days are over; he is far too talented and likable to be relegated to the broadcast booth or the ESPN "analyst" chair -- unless, of course, he would insist on actually analyzing the game and not just parroting the company lines. (What a concept!) He's a natural in front of the camera, and I could see him having a successful acting career on television. Could he be a movie star? Probably not, but crazier things have happened.

Of course, the NFL would probably be best served by Manning becoming a head coach. He's practically a player-coach right now, isn't he? Tom Brady may have the GQ looks, the supermodel girlfriend and the championship dynasty, but I defy you to find me a better leader in all of sports than Peyton Manning. The way things are looking so far this season, a dynasty of his own is only a few big wins away.

You think the Colts will take Cutler for him, straight up?

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